- Title: Artists paint starving children to highlight Yemen's hunger crisis
- Date: 24th October 2016
- Summary: SANAA, YEMEN (OCTOBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) YEMENI STREET ARTIST, MURAD SUBAY, PAINTING AN IMAGE OF MALNOURISHED CHILD WITH STENCIL ON THE WALL VARIOUS OF SUBAY PAINTING IMAGE OF MALNOURISHED CHILD CHAINED TO AND LAYING IN A COFFIN ANOTHER STREET ARTIST, THOU YAZAN AL ALAWI, PAINTING ON THE WALL NEAR SUBAY / PEOPLE WATCHING WOMEN WALKING BY AND LOOKING AT SUBAY'S WORK PEOPLE GATHERING AND WATCHING THE ARTISTS PAINT VARIOUS OF MEN WATCHING SUBAY PAINT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LOCAL RESIDENT, YOUSEF ABDELQAWI, SAYING: "The war has made this country sick, people are dying of hunger. We hope everyone, both abroad and in the country, hears that the political parties must understand that this is their country and they must return to a national dialogue." ARTISTS PAINTING ON THE WALL SUBAY PAINTING IMAGE OF MALNOURISHED CHILD ON THE WALL COMPLETED IMAGE OF MALNOURISHED CHILD ON THE WALL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YEMENI STREET ARTIST, MURAD SUBAY, SAYING: "Yemenis are suffering from hunger. The latest statistics put Yemen as the fifth worst country in the world when it comes to health and nutrition. This statistic is terrifying. This war must end." CHILDREN SMILING TO CAMERA, STANDING IN FRONT OF ALAWI'S WALL PAINTING ALAWI PAINTING A MALNOURISHED CHILD TRAPPED INSIDE A LARGE BABY BOTTLE VARIOUS OF CHILDREN WATCHING ALAWI PAINT PASSER-BY WATCHING ARTISTS PAINT VARIOUS OF ALAWI PAINTING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YEMENI STREET ARTIST, THOU YAZAN AL ALAWI, SAYING: "We came up with this campaign because of the internal and external wars in Yemen, the economic crisis, all these factors led to famine and poverty in Yemen. There are some 21 million Yemenis that are in need of humanitarian assistance." PEOPLE GATHERING AROUND WALL PAINTINGS MAN AND CHILD LOOKING AT ALAWI'S PAINTING OF STARVING CHILD INSIDE A MILK BOTTLE
- Embargoed: 8th November 2016 10:30
- Keywords: Yemen hunger children starvation street artists painting graffiti
- Location: SANAA, YEMEN
- City: SANAA, YEMEN
- Country: Yemen
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00155D5DG5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Yemeni artists are taking to the streets, painting images of starving children to highlight one of the most devastating consequences of the 19-month-old civil war that has plunged millions of Yemenis further into poverty.
Yemen was already the poorest country in the Arab world before the Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states launched an offensive last March aimed at restoring exiled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power and ousting the Iran-allied Houthis from their strongholds.
On Sunday (October 23) warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition attacked targets in Sanaa at dawn, hours after a three-day truce in Yemen's war expired, residents in the capital said.
The ceasefire, agreed to allow for an increased flow of humanitarian aid, ended without renewal after a day of heavy fighting between the two sides.
The war has devastated the country.
So far, more than 10,000 people have been killed, thousands more have been wounded and the health care and education systems have crumbled.
According to the United Nations, some 21 million Yemenis, more than two thirds of the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian aid. Children have been hit especially hard.
"The war has made this country sick, people are dying of hunger. We hope everyone, both abroad and in the country, hears that the political parties must understand that this is their country and they must return to a national dialogue," said Yousef Abdelqawi, a Sanaa resident.
In a recent statement, the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said some 2.5 million Yemeni children are at risk of diarrhoea, 1.3 million are at risk of acute respiratory tract infections and some 1.5 million are malnourished, including 370,000 that are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
"Yemenis are suffering from hunger. The latest statistics put Yemen as the fifth worst country in the world when it comes to health and nutrition. This statistic is terrifying. This war must end," said Yemeni artist Murad Subay, who has spent the last six years painting Sanaa's streets with murals and colourful paintings to promote peace and to discuss sensitive political and social issues in the society.
Over the last few months Subay and his fellow Yemeni artists have been highlighting Yemen's social and humanitarian woes by painting stark images on the walls of the capital's streets.
Malnutrition and hunger are the latest plight the artists chose to focus on.
On Sunday, spectators including children gathered around Subay as he painted an image of a starving child chained to and laid inside a coffin on a city wall. Next to it was a painting by fellow artist Thou Yazan al Alawi, depicting a malnourished child curled up on the bottom of a large baby bottle.
"We came up with this campaign because of the internal and external wars in Yemen, the economic crisis, all these factors led to famine and poverty in Yemen. There are some 21 million Yemenis that are in need of humanitarian assistance," said Alawi.
In recent months, the artists have painted images of bombed out schools to highlight accusations by Yemenis and many in the international community that the Saudi-led coalition is hitting civilian targets, including schools and hospitals.
Another project reflected the growing economic woes in the country, the loss of innocent life, and the physical destruction of the country as a result of the war.
Subay has been recognized internationally for his political expression through art.
He is the recipient of the "Innovation Shield" by the American Islamic Congress for his work on the forcibly disappeared Yemenis abducted over the years for their political beliefs and statements.
He is also the recipient of the "Art for Peace" award from the Veronesi Foundation, an Italian organization that annually awards artists for works that promote peace.
In 2016, he received the "Freedom of Expression Arts Award" by the Index on Censorship organization in the United Kingdom.
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